By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Nexport / True Green + Busworld, Ebusco

EXCLUSIVE: Australian EV manufacturing entity Nexport / True Green has acquired the services of electric bus and e-mobility transition expert Michel Van Maanen, Ebusco Europe’s joint chief commercial officer and chief operations officer (CCO/COO), the Nexport / True Green Group has announced.

"Michel has departed Ebusco and is joining Nexport as our chief executive officer,” True Green CEO Luke Todd explained.

"We are bolstering our management ranks as part of our commitment to building a robust management team and one that's capable of leading the Australian transition to zero-emission buses and depot upgrades," said Luke Todd, CEO of True Green Group Mobility.

"We've secured the employment of Michel Van Maanen, who is currently the COO of Ebusco Europe, and who's been the driving force behind the Ebusco success in there," Todd explained.

"Michel has departed Ebusco and is joining Nexport as our chief executive officer," he explained.

Van Maanen’s Linkedin profile describes himself as, "... a goal-focused and results-oriented leader with a progressive career of leading end-to-end international business operations, while achieving set targets in large-scale logistics, automotive and transportation organisations, thus ensuring successful long-term growth."

Such skillset is underwritten via the philosophy: "An organisation's ability to learn, and translate that learning ability into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage..." he states.



Of Ebusco’s success, Todd explained: "Ebusco has been selling significant numbers of buses in Europe and undertook major depot upgrades throughout all parts of Europe. Michel’s going to join us as of the first of April, 2021, as the new CEO of Nexport."

Currently, Van Maanen is based in The Netherlands, but will be and moving to Australia soon, Todd confirmed.

"He's part of our investment to the transition to electric buses in NSW and more broadly Australia.

"We are bringing the key talent from around the globe; Michel is regarded as one of the top electric bus experts in Europe and his coming to Australia we see as a huge bolster to our ability to deliver, not only best quality products but also, the depth of experience needed for large-scale depot rollouts," Todd stated.

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Prior to Van Maanen being Ebusco’s chief commercial officer and chief operations officer, he was director of performance management (EXCOM) of Transdev France HQ; and perhaps most pertinent he was director of performance and interim CEO at Transdev Australasia for over two years between September, 2014 to December, 2016.

He has also been CEO/director Supply Chain and Business Improvement at Transdev Portugal, plus Improvement Benelux and director Supply Chain at Transdev Nederland, and Improvement manager Benelux at Veolia Transport (currently Transdev) – buses, to name a few.



"Michel has good experience and knowledge of the Australian market, so for us we are highly excited that we can bring in somebody that has that [background] in leading the e-bus charge in Europe over the past three years back to Australia. It’s a really strong boost to our team – and it's only the beginning," Todd explained.

"We have a few other key strategic announcements in regards to people that will be joining our team over the coming months," he added.

"Nexport has been very active to make sure we not only develop and deploy the best-quality vehicles and services, but have actively been out looking for the best people to lead our team now and into the future.

"We are growing rapidly and the Australian market is growing rapidly, so we actively went out and sought out the best talent from Europe and identified Michel as the leader that we wanted to speak to. After a series of lengthy conversations and discussions he's extremely excited to be coming back to Australia to deploy the knowledge that he's learnt over the past few years.

"So it's a great mix; we are getting someone who knows the Australian landscape, but is also from the forefront of Europe.

"It's a major coup for our business, and it's a major coup for the Australian EV scene - to be able to bring some of the top quality from Europe to help the knowledge base here in Australia," Todd explained.



With Van Maanen assuming the role of Nexport CEO, Luke Todd will move into the position of True Green Mobility Group CEO, which is a broader group that incorporates electric buses, trucks and a series of other products.

"And across our group including the acquisitions of Gemilang, Foton Mobility that sits under our profile as well, we are getting close to 40-odd staff for a company size, which is soon to be much larger as we are ramping up our Australian production of bus bodies and, ultimately, chassis here as well," he said.

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When ABC magazine asked Todd about the latest news of its NSW production facility plans, he explained: "We are getting very close. We have got some final drawing of what we have and we'll be building buses in Moss Vale by early next year, so it's moving very quickly."

"But the most important thing is we are already building bus bodies in Glendenning, NSW, and we continue to build bus bodies in Ballarat, Victoria, which we have been doing now for some time."

"We are also producing locally and the Moss Vale site just allows us to upscale our local capabilities."

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